The Russians claim that their soldiers have taken control of a village near Avdeevka

Avdeevka, Ukraine / Photo EPA-EFE/ALESSANDRO GUERRA

The Russian Ministry of Defense announced today that Russian soldiers took control of the village of Lastochkine, in the direction of Avdeevka, in the western part of the territory.

"Units of the Center force group liberated the village of Lastochkine and continued to improve the situation along the front line," the statement, reported by Russian media, said.

The Ukrainian military confirmed earlier today that it had withdrawn its forces from the village of Lastochkine, saying the move would help halt the Russian army's westward advance.

- The Ukrainian armed forces withdrew from the village of Lastochkine, in order to organize a defense and prevent the enemy from advancing in the direction of the west, said the spokesman of the Ukrainian army, Dmytro Likhovy, the British media reported.

The village of Lastochkine is located to the west of Advdeevka, the town almost fell under the control of Russian forces on February 17.

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